It is often said that it is easier to introduce a dog to a cat than a how much are exotic shorthair kittens to a cat. This is because the dog won’t be viewed as competition for resources, territory and affection in the way a kitten is. But this isn’t to say that it can’t be done successfully and here are a few tips.
Understanding your cat
Cats have a territory even if this constitutes the rooms in the house and the arrival of a new kitten can be seen as an infringement on this territory. One of the best tips when it comes to selecting a new kitten is to understand the personality of your existing cat and pick a kitten accordingly. For example, if your existing cat is nervous and shy, then don’t purchase an overly confident kitten who could intimidate the cat and cause conflict. Try to get cats that have similar personalities in the hope that they will gel together.
Of course, this is difficult to do in some situations, such as from a shelter. You don’t spend enough time with the kitten before adoption to get a feel for who they are. Then the other plan is to make sure you can separate the kitten from the cat while they settle in.
The ideal of a kitten crate or box may sound harsh but it a good safe way to introduce an adult cat to the newcomer. This prevents fights that can lead to long term animosity and problems as well as possible short term injuries. Purchasing a cat crate to use for the kitten until things have settle down can be a worthwhile purchase.
Inside the crate needs to be their new food and water bowls, their own cat litter tray and their own toys. It is important these are all new and not taken from the other cat, as the smells will cause confusion. The cat will not like that the kitten has its things and the kitten may be afraid of something that smells of another cat and not use them.
Once you bring the kitten home, don’t introduce the cat to it straight away. Let it become familiar with its surroundings and limit it to the room where you have located the crate. Once the kitten has settled down, then pop it in the crate and open the door of the room. Make sure you are present when the cat first comes in and watch the reactions. It can be an idea to put a small box in the crate so the kitten can hide if it feels threatened and leave the door open so the cat can leave when they want to. Sometimes putting a small bowl of the cat’s favourite food or treat in the room is a good idea as this immediately associates the kitten with something good in the cat’s mind. Watch their interactions and once there is no signs of trouble, you can then let the kitten out of the box and monitor their reaction to one another. While they may never be best friends, most cats adapt to each other and live by happily ignoring the other.